By Carlos Alvarez
The East Los Angeles College women’s basketball team survived its second round home matchup against No. 15-seed (Southern Regional) Antelope Valley College, 66-60, on Feb. 28.
“They’re (ELAC) a great team, the best team we have played all season. We hung around, but we couldn’t finish the game,” Antelope Valley Head Coach Barry Green said.
According to Green, his team matched up well athletically with ELAC, but they were unable to overcome 35 turnovers.
“When we have 30-plus turnovers, we won’t beat anyone,” Green said.
The No. 2-seeded Huskies overcame 27 turnovers of their own, 10 coming from ELAC guard Olivia Ochoa.
“We didn’t help her (Ochoa) out, they (Antelope Valley) put pressure on her and we failed to communicate,” ELAC guard Kyla Martin-Burnley said.
Ochoa struggled with the Antelope Valley’s pressure, but she had one of her best shooting night’s of the season. Ochoa scored a game-high 23 points, shooting 7-for-15 from the field while leading ELAC to a 35-24 halftime lead.
“We came out very strong, but then we kind of forgot how to play. We played to the strengths of our competition,” ELAC Head Coach Bruce Turner said.
According to Turner, some of his players were trying to do too much instead of letting the flow of the game come to them.
ELAC forward Jocelyne Diaz was held without a field goal for the first time this season. Diaz was 0-for-7 from the field with 4 turnovers, scoring two points from the free-throw line.
“Jocelyne (Diaz) is a force to be reckoned with in the paint, her game is about being patient inside,” Turner said.
Diaz said that everyone has a bad game once in awhile, but that it was an unpleasant feeling that hers had to be in the playoffs.
With Diaz struggling, ELAC forward Kimberly Perez had one of her best overall performances of the season.
Perez scored 14 points, shooting 6-for-9 from the field, while providing an offensive and defensive presence in the paint.
“That’s what we (ELAC) do, when one of us struggles someone else’s picks up the slack,” Diaz said.
With 43.5 seconds remaining in the game the Marauders cut the deficit to two, 62-60, behind the play of forward Barbara Pete.
Pete was able to constantly get behind ELAC’s full-court press for easy baskets. Pete scored a team-high 19 points, shooting 9-for-16 from the field while grabbing a game-high 12 rebounds.
Marauders guard Shekinah Broadway added 15 points, shooting 7-for-12 from the field.
“We worked on their (ELAC) press in practice. We broke it, but we couldn’t finish it,” Green said.
ELAC went on to make four consecutive free throws to seal the victory.
The Huskies will host a third round matchup against No. 7-seed El Camino College on March 4 at 7 p.m.
“We played them (El Camino), we know what they’re going to do, we just have to play our game and will be good,” Perez said.
Martin-Burnley believes that if they slow things down more that they will have a good game against El Camino.
“El Camino is going to be tough, there are no easy games at this point,” Turner said.